- Aidan Hutchinson is opening eyes
- Injury updates on Aubrey Solomon and Kwity Paye
- Chase Winovich is real good
- Some Julius Welschof hype
- Prepping for Northwestern
[After THE JUMP: Defensive line talk]
How do you like your position group through four games?
“I like them a lot. I liked them in the summer, I liked them last year, I liked them going into the summer, going into the spring, and I like how they’re working. They worked very, very hard and they’re trying to become as good as they can be. They’re trying to get to where we try to make all these defensive linemen get, and all these defensive players get. Sometimes it’s not as good as it should be, but they’re working hard to get there.”
Has Carlo (Kemp) been kind of a pleasant surprise inside for you, or were you kind of expecting that?
“I wouldn’t say it’s a surprise, I was expecting it. You don’t work as hard as he has, since he’s been here, you don’t make the gains that he’s made in the weight room, and invest as much as he has and not good things happen. I’m very happy that he’s playing the way he’s been playing.”
Any update on Aubrey (Solomon’s) status?
“He’s working — doing everything he’s supposed to be doing. I’ll be excited when he is cleared, but he’s doing very well. He’s working hard, our strength staff’s doing a great job with him, our trainer’s doing a great job with him. Just go along with the process.”
Is there a timeline?
“No, I don’t know what the timeline is. There’s always a timeline by what they say, and I never question what that is. I know, just seeing him in meetings and seeing him work out, I mean, he’s doing well.”
How’s his demeanor been, having to be out like this?
How’s his demeanor been, considering he’s had to be out like this?
“Oh, he’s good, he’s good. He’s — that’s part of football. So he’s doing everything he’s supposed to be doing, and that’s all you can ask him.”
Rashan Gary said a couple days ago that Aidan Hutchinson is ahead of where he was as a freshman. What have you seen from Aidan since he’s gotten here and do you agree with that statement?
“I don’t know who’s ahead of who. All I know is, when Aidan was recruited, and watching Aidan play in high school and watching in camp and watching in games, his future is very, very bright. And so was Rashan’s. I’m not gonna ever say where he was compared, although the neat thing is, I can still remember Chris Wormley sitting right next to Rashan, helping him every day with all of the things that we’re trying to do and him listening. And him learning it and doing better each day that way. And Rashan is doing the exact same thing right now with Aidan.”
What is it about Aidan’s demeanor that has him so far ahead of schedule?
“I don’t know if he’s ahead of schedule. I don’t know that he was recruited to be ahead of schedule. I know one thing, when we recruited him and when he signed with us and we knew that he was coming here, we were very, very excited about it. Because he’s very mature, he’s very intelligent. Obviously comes from unbelievable stock. That family is off the charts, and not just the father, who I had the fortune to have a chance to coach, but the mom and the sisters are — they’re off the charts. And he’s part of that. I think that’s one thing that’s helped him, is that he’s been — there’s, we always talk about that bar. I think in their home, you’ll find that bar is very high. Academically and athletically. And he’s agreed a long time ago to do that, and that’s why he’s doing what he’s doing.”
Is he the first son of a player that you’ve coached?
“Yeah, I think. I haven’t thought of it that way. I think. I know one thing, his father was one heck of a football player. And it’s kind of ironic, because I had just came from Texas A&M, where we had some great, big first-round guys, and some guys, they were the wrecking crew defense. And I came to Michigan, here, and they had the defensive line guys and I kept looking around, ‘Where are all these guys?’ I’m looking for 6-6 guys, and all that. And all the sudden, there’s his dad Chris, and I left that, I don’t know how many years later, saying, ‘He may be the best I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach.’ His intelligence, his technique, his strength, his desire. All the things that make a great defensive lineman. So, probably is the first father-son. Aidan has a lot of that in him. That’s the other part. AIdan has a lot of that in him. The good thing is, Aidan has six more inches. But he’s got a great future.”
Chris says Aidan’s better than he was in high school — he’s better at interviews, he’s better at everything. Do you see that?
“I never saw Chris in high school. I did go back to his school recruiting, his picture was up on the wall, he got named to the Hall of Fame at his high school and everything like that. But Chris was always, he was unreal the one year I had him. So I don’t know how to compare them that way. I just know that Aidan is very, very mature and very driven. In all parts. Academically, everything. And then he has the luxury also of having a guy like Rashan here, so all those are good things.”
How have you seen Chase develop this year or kind of build off of what he’s done?
“Oh, Chase is playing very well, I believe. I think every game. One thing that Chase has always done, and he’s doing it this year again, and every game again, is he’s gonna go as hard as he can go. He’s gonna do everything that he can to help Michigan win. And his preparation in the tip sheets and in the tendencies and all that kinda thing, and then all of the physical work. He just keeps coming out every day going as hard as he can. And he’s got really got results. So it’s just the beginning. He’s got some great goals, and he’s gotta continue.”
Chase always seems like he brings — like if there’s three guys in the backfield, a race to the quarterback, always seems like it’s Chase. Do you notice that?
“That’s what I love about him. Chase is not going to get beat. And everything that Chase does is a competition, and I shouldn’t say he’s not gonna get beat. There’s been times when he hasn’t won that, I guarantee I’d hate to be the guy on the next play, because he’s gonna get the next one. And that’s what drives him. And if every player had that kinda drive, it would be scary. But that’s his deal. He is gonna win, any chance he can. And that’s what makes him the player he is.”
Obviously we haven’t seen him yet, but Julius Welschof, how has he come along?
“Great. I’m really excited about him. In fact, we talked about, every day of these practices we have with the young guys, this is a guy that the ceiling is so high. His football background is so small. And everything you teach him, he does. He has unreal desire to be a really good player. He can run really well. He’s gonna be very strong, with our strength program. His name comes up a lot. And watching him, how much he’s improved, it’s just touching the surface. So I’m really excited about him.”
We’ve talked over the years about Lawrence Marshall, seems like he’s been here about 15 years. Is it good to finally see him doing what he’s doing, and obviously the play last week?
“Yes. Lawrence, he keeps going. Keeps going. And it’s really good. It shows the program when a young man like him sticks with it, and then all the sudden he gets his chance, and then when he gets his chance, he has success. And again, he’s another one, we’re just starting now. We’re just starting. We haven’t got to where we plan on getting, and Lawrence knows that. Lawrence gets better every practice, and works to get better every practice. So I’m excited about Lawrence.”
Did he ever waver, in terms of coming back this season?
“No, I don’t think so. He may have in his mind, but not with me. No. I think he just knows what he had to do and what he has to do, and that’s what he’s doing.”
I think he said he talked with you about, ‘What kind of chance do I have?’ What do you tell a guy like that?
“Well, I’m always honest with him, and I think he’ll tell you, that’s one thing I mean, I’m probably to a fault honest. And I don’t believe in leading a young man around. I know how hard it is to be successful here, I know how hard it is to do what a lot of people say you can do. When I see maybe you can’t, but I also see where, if he does do these things, that’s what’s separating him from not being as successful. And that’s what he’s doing. He works very hard. He worked very hard this summer. He worked very hard in camp. He bought into the strength program. And now good things are happening.”
You haven’t seen Northwestern without (Jeremy) Larkin, how does that change your preparation now, without him?
“You don’t know. You don’t know what they’re gonna do and how that’s gonna be different. We have to prepare for them, they’re a very good football team. We know what it’s like to play there, and whoever the running back is, is gonna be — we had some guys do a great job against them.”
How tough is it for something like that to happen to someone like him, the talent that he had?
“Oh, that’s gotta be — that’s so hard. That’s, you feel bad for a young man. But I guess if the decision is that or be healthy, I say take that. You never want that to happen to anybody. But then again, you gotta be thankful that he did have the success he did before anything did happen.”
Did you guys have Kwity Paye in practice this week, or is he —
“No, 100 percent. In fact he had, I don’t know, he had about 30, 40 snaps yesterday, of live, hard snaps. No, Kwity had a really good practice last night, so he’s fine. I tease him about what happened when he was landing. I tease him about that, but I don’t tease him too much. But no, he came off like nothing had happened. He’s good. He’s really good.”
Northwestern always plays Michigan pretty tough, how do they compete with two and three-star players, against Michigan, Ohio State. Why are they tough to play?
“Why is what?”
Why is Northwestern tough for Michigan to play?
“Well, I don’t know. They’re just well-coached. Northwestern’s a good football program. Northwestern — what has their winning record been in the last year? They’re a good football program. I don’t know, you said tough compared to who, to me they’ve always been tough because they’ve always been well-coached. And they get intelligent young men there who are also good football players. Their track record speaks for themselves. So you better go — in this league it doesn’t matter. In this league, whenever you get on that bus to go play somebody, you better play your A-game. And that’s what we talk about all the time, is that, ‘Ok, let’s see how we do now when we get on that bus, get on that plane. Let’s go play our A-game.’ ”